Adjustment Bureau


Mr. RonPrice
Part 1:

The Adjustment Bureau is a 2011 American-romantic-action-thriller film loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story: "Adjustment Team". Philip Kindred Dick(1928-1982) was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist whose published work is almost entirely in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states. In his later works Dick's thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology.

He often drew upon his own life experiences in addressing the nature of drug abuse, paranoia, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences. Dick wrote approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime. Dick spent most of his career as a writer in near-poverty.

The film was written and directed by George Nolfi who left UCLA with a master's degree, and then wrote several screenplays. The film stars Matt Damon(1970- ), an American actor, screenwriter, producer, and philanthropist and English actress Emily Blunt(1983- ). I won’t tell you about the rest of the cast or the musical score. I leave it to you, if you are interested, to rent the video, the DVD or download it in one of your electronic media now available. I watched it last night.1

Part 2:

If I was still teaching philosophy or, if I was running a series of Bahaí deepenings’, in this newest, the latest, of the Abrahamic religions, I would have found this film a handy tool. I would have used this sci-fi film or one of the other sci-fi films made from Dick’s short stories, to discuss: the film’s Abrahamic theological implications such as (i) an omnipotent and omniscient God, (ii) the concepts of free will and predestination, and (iii) elements from the descent to the underworld, a theme dating back at least to the story of Eurydice and Orpheus.

The Chairman in the film can be said to represent God while his caseworkers are angels. The director of the film, George Nolfi, stated that the "intention of this film is to raise questions."2 -Ron Price with thanks to (1)SCTV, 8/3/’13, 9:00 to 11:25 p.m., and (2)Wikipedia, 8/3/’12.

Going back to my university days in the 1960s when I was studying philosophy, a film like this would have been useful at least to raise some questions and give my phil and religion professors something besides the printed-lecture word, and the endless talk of the tutorials to stimulate the interest of students. Fifty years later the rising generations can have these philosophic-religious questions raised and never read any philosophy and religion which, for the most part, is of little use in their career ambit, as they run-the-gauntlet of all the job hunting, marital and partner chasing, and fulfilling their desires in changeful life to the last syllable of their life’s days, as they make more adjustments than they can count from their cradle-days to death.

Ron Price


Code Monkey
Staff member
Watching the movie I thought the Chaiman being God implication was pretty strong. What are thoughts on what alternatives could be gotten from it?


Mr. RonPrice
The Chairman as God was, as you say Kevin, a strong implication. For now I am happy to leave it at that---since it's time for my breakfast.-Ron